Seps
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Source: Kongelige Bibliotek (Bestiarius - Bestiary of Anne Walsh (Gl. kgl. S. 1633 4)) Copyright 2003 Kongelige Bibliotek / Used by permission Manuscript description Kongelige Bibliotek, Gl. kgl. S. 1633 4, Folio 49v


 

Seps

Latin name: Seps

Other names:

The poison of the seps consumes both body and bones

 

 
General Attributes

The seps is a small snake. Its poison is deadly, consuming both the body and the bones of those the seps bites.


Sources (chronological order)

Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 848-849): "Seps whose poisonous juice / Makes putrid flesh and frame..." (verse 896-913): "...on Sabellus' yet more piteous death / Their eyes were fastened. Clinging to his skin / A Seps with curving tooth, of little size, / He seized and tore away, and to the sands / Pierced with his javelin. Small the serpent's bulk; / None deals a death more horrible in form. / For swift the flesh dissolving round the wound / Bared the pale bone; swam all his limbs in blood; / Wasted the tissue of his calves and knees: / And all the muscles of his thighs were thawed / In black distilment, and file membrane sheath / Parted, that bound his vitals, which abroad / Flowed upon earth: yet seemed it not that all / His frame was loosed, for by the venomous drop / Were all the bands that held his muscles drawn / Down to a juice; the framework of his chest / Was bare, its cavity, and all the parts / Hid by the organs of life, that make the man...".

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:17): The deadly seps devours a man quickly so that he liquifies in its mouth. (Book 12, 4:31): The seps is a rare snake, the poison of which consumes the body and the bones.


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